The Gathering - _Nighttime Birds_
(Century Media, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
After what seemed like a very long time since the superb _Mandylion_, The Gathering are back, seemingly unchanged. _Nighttime Birds_, their newest, shows vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen in top shape, but unfortunately only for less than 50 minutes, which leaves you wanting more after it's over. The album starts off extremely well with "On Most Surfaces", and, well, it proceeds extremely well all the way till the end. My personal highlights for this album are on the first track I mentioned above and also "The Earth Is My Witness" and the last three songs. If you know _Mandylion_, _Nighttime Birds_ is essentially more of the same (cheers), with a few tweaks here and there and soft parts showing up more often. If you have never heard their previous album, well, you don't know what you've been missing. No, seriously, The Gathering are basically a melodic metal band based upon a slight doomy edge, featuring the brilliant female vox of Anneke and a very good instrumental side. I can't say much more about this album, really, it's just the best album I've heard this year so far (OK, we're still in June, but the point is that this is an excellent album), and The Gathering have succeeded in making an album that is at the same time similar and different enough from their previous effort, something that I think is very difficult to achieve. If you like melodic female voices, buy it -now-.
(article published 7/6/1997)
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